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Safety issues associated with using restorative justice for intimate partner violence

Author(s)Hayden, Anne 
Title Safety issues associated with using restorative justice for intimate partner justice
Source Women's Studies Journal,December 2012, Volume 26, No. 2, pp4-16
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage Auckland, New Zealand
Summary This qualitative research study examines the extent to which the use of restorative justice (RJ) could increase reporting of intimate partner violence (IPV). In exploring the issue of safety the data was analysed in three ways: the capacity to make couples safer; the potential to make couples less safe; and precautions that could be taken to increase the safety of the RJ process. For the study, 15 in-depth interviews were conducted with experts in the area, including victim advocates, service providers and judiciary and in-depth unstructured interviews with eight victims and six perpetrators. It was found that a fundamental key to increasing safety in conferences was appropriate preparation. Potential risks need to be identified and it was commented by participants in the study that risk parameters were not confined to the victim and the perpetrator, but extended to the facilitator. Facilitator risk factors included gender appropriateness, appropriate experience, routine monitoring and debriefing and culturally appropriate behaviour. The importance of looking at all aspects of safety, including physical, emotional and social/contextual safety was explored. The author concluded that this qualitative research supported the use of restorative justice for victims of intimate partner violence with safety considerations as a priority.
Keywords Intimate partner violence; domestic violence; restorative justice; safety; conferences.

Restorative justice; Domestic violence